On display are copies of 21 samplers from East, Middle, and West Tennessee. Sampler making has had a long history as a practical and decorative art. Sampler making became a requirement for an educated young lady showing that she had received a refined education and was prepared for marriage.
The majority of samplers were made in private female academies prior to the Civil War. Female education also incuded courses in the classics, science, math, geography and foreign languages as well as the ornamental arts such as drawing, painting and music.
The Tennessee Sampler Survey that provided the exhibit was founded as a not-for-profit organization in 2004. Its mission is to document, preserve, and present Tennessee's needlework heritage. Its goal is to locate and document 200 samplers and related embroideries made prior to 1900.
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